OCSE Fact Sheet

Mission Statement

Increase the reliability of child support paid by parents when they live apart from their children by:

  • Locating parents
  • Establishing legal fatherhood (paternity)
  • Establishing and enforcing fair support orders
  • Increasing health care coverage for children
  • Removing barriers to payment, such as referring parents to employment services, supporting healthy co-parenting relationships, supporting responsible fatherhood, and helping to prevent and reduce family violence

Brief Description

Purpose

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement partners with federal, state, tribal and local governments and others to promote parental responsibility so that children receive reliable support from both of their parents as they grow to adulthood.

How it is Administered

OCSE helps child support agencies in the states and tribes to develop, manage and operate their programs effectively and according to federal law.  We:

  • Financially support child support program operations
  • Provide grants for state Access and Visitation programs
  • Provide policy guidance and technical help
  • Conduct audits and educational programs
  • Support research and provide grants for program improvement
  • Operate the Federal Parent Locator Service and the National Directory of New Hires  
  • Work with states to provide limited enforcement services, such as federal tax refund intercepts and passport denials
  • Work with employers and other private and public partners
  • Help with intergovernmental child support cases

Expected Goals

The child support program annually measures and reports its progress toward achieving the following goals:

  • All children have established parentage
  • All children in Social Security Act Title IV-D cases (i.e., those in which the state provides child support services) have support orders
  • All children in IV-D cases have medical coverage
  • All children in IV-D cases receive financial support from parents as ordered
  • The IV-D program will be efficient and responsive in its operations

Brief History of the Program

Established Date

The child support program was established in 1975.

Reason it was Formed

Congress began the child support program to reimburse benefits paid by the government’s welfare programs. Congress changed the program in 1996 as part of the new welfare reform laws to expand the role of technology and ensure children receive more of the support paid by their parents. Today, we have emerged as a family support program providing significant income for vulnerable families.


Amount of People Served

In fiscal year 2012, the child support program served 17.2 million* children, along with their parents.

Children served:
FY 2009: 17.4 million
FY 2010: 17.5 million
FY 2011: 17.3 million
FY 2012: 17.2 million*

*FY 2012 preliminary data


Fiscal Year Budgets

Child support program funding:
FY 2009: $4.4 billion
FY 2010: $4.3 billion
FY 2011: $4.0 billion
FY 2012: $4.0 billion*

*FY 2012 preliminary data


General Information

Director/Commissioner

Vicki Turetsky
 

Address

Office of Child Support Enforcement
Administration for Children & Families
370 L’Enfant Promenade, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20447

Phone Number

(202) 401-9373
 

Fax Number

(202) 401-5558

Main Email Address

OCSEHotline@acf.hhs.gov

Website Link

www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse